For Macomb alum Christin Salama of Sterling Heights, the Early College of Macomb (ECM) program provided a perfect chance to get an early start on college and gain experience that will readily translate to future career success.
Originally from Egypt, Salama’s family moved to the United States in 2008, sadly followed the next year by the passing of her mother. She attended Center Line High School and participated in their female soccer team. During her sophomore year, she discovered and applied for ECM.
“I decided to join Early College of Macomb to get an idea of what college life is like,” says Salama. “Being at Macomb the first couple of years was definitely the right choice.”
Advantageous to Salama was the fact that ECM allowed her to earn an associate degree with no out-of-pocket expenses. Books, fees, tuition and resources were all covered through the program. Above all else, Salama appreciated the welcoming atmosphere Macomb’s faculty created. They were always reachable, “willing to help,” and understanding of her needs as a dual-enrolled student.
“They treated me and other early college students the same way,” notes Salama. “Their support was really the main key that encouraged me to be up to their expectations and to meet their standards.”
Through ECM, Salama, whose sights are set on a career in engineering, landed an internship with General Motors in 2017. She was fortunate enough to be able to return in 2018. While there, she learned the processes involved in various specialties and “about different disciplines of engineering.”
Now a transfer student at Wayne State University, Salama recently received the $2,500 Russell J. Ebeid Closing the Gap Scholarship, awarded to Wayne State engineering and business majors from Arab and African American, as well as Latinx backgrounds. The scholarship’s namesake was fueled by a drive to create change through funding the education of engineering and business students.
As with the late philanthropist, Salama also enjoys giving back to the community. In addition to volunteering for church functions, she is involved in the Wayne State chapter of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). Among the many activities she helps support is inviting representatives from engineering businesses to speak with students about job opportunities and requirements.
“That is a great way for students to come in and learn more about such companies,” adds Salama, “to give them an idea of what to expect when applying.”